Ionactive - 1Q, 2020

Despite best intentions, this is the first Ionactive Blog post of 2020. It is quite unsettling that the time available now to write this entry is as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic which is unprecedented in modern times. Up until the vital ‘lock down’ in the UK, Ionactive was full speed ahead, delivering radiation protection adviser services and RPS training courses around the UK. The first 2.5 months of 2020 has been manic with routine site visits, radiation shielding projects, a trip to critically exam an e-beam sterilisation plant in Slovenia, critical examinations for cancer treatment facilities at a private hospital in London, a trip to Cork to examine a Brachytherapy facility and two completely full Radiation Protection Supervisor (RPS) training courses.

Covid-19

Despite Covid-19 we are of course supporting all our clients, although in most cases we have mutually agreed to reduce all travel (and therefore site visits) to a minimum. We are ready and able to make visits to sites for critical radiation safety related work on a case by case basis. We, like many other companies, are now using a range of online communication tools to engage in remote meetings and radiation safety reviews as required.

Not surprisingly our monthly RPS training courses have been paused for the time being. In addition, we are also not delivering bespoke radiation courses on site. We have investigated running our courses via Zoom or Webex (etc), but these resources lend themselves better to meetings rather than simply presenting a live course remotely. Anyone can sit through a remote meeting session over the internet for a couple of hours, however its not the same experience when attempting to deliver a two-day (or longer) course online without significant modification. Therefore, we have communicated with all our prospective RPS delegates and for the time being we are holding open dates (e.g. next 2-day RPS training course is planned for 08-09 June 2020 at Missenden Abbey). However, it seems likely that many delegates are looking towards August dates and beyond given that the lock down seems to be here to stay for some considerable time to come.

On-line radiation safety training

Staying with training, we are using time back at the office to develop a whole range of new online radiation safety training courses. This is not porting current courses to a platform like Zoom, rather it’s a completely new training system that will go live ASAP and will complement our face-2-face training courses, not replace them. We will be working with our fabulous website designers Satellite Creative to build a completely bespoke training solution, we will not be using a ready built training platform. We will have a range of courses on offer with rich media content (presentations, audio, video etc), quizzes and tests, and certificates. The delegate will be able to contact the trainer directly, and where required; an online face-2-face session will be available if the delegate has a specific difficulty with course content. This training system will be open to individual delegates as well as corporate clients (i.e. current or future clients) who may have a number of employees that need training. We have 9 course titles now in preparation - stay tuned 😊

Note: the online training described above is not designed to replace our two day face-to-face RPS course. We still believe that live training delivered to a group of delegates in a training room is best at the RPS level. However, we will be offering an online training package at the RPO (Radiation Protection Officer) level for overseas delegates (starting with an online version based on UAE radiation protection legislation).

So I will close now by wishing all readers remain healthy and safe in these difficult times.

Mark Ramsay

Radiation Protection Adviser (RPA) and Director at Ionactive Consulting Limited

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Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school

– Albert Einstein -